Review: Rules to Live By by Heidi Belleau, Anah Crow, Dianne Fox, Lisa Henry, Anna Zabo, and Cari Z.

February 27, 2015 Review 1

Review: Rules to Live By by Heidi Belleau, Anah Crow, Dianne Fox, Lisa Henry, Anna Zabo, and Cari Z.

Four intimate tales of power exchange, discipline, risks taken, and pleasures earned.

A list of rules to live by.

In Cari Z’s House Rules, jealousy leads Jonathan to break the rules his lover has established. He can’t decide which he enjoys more: his punishment, or the reward afterward. Good thing he gets both.

A lesson in humility.

In The Harder They Fall by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry, spoiled college boy Tad hires a prostitute, but “Daddy” couldn’t care less about what Tad wants. Instead, he’s going to give his spoiled little boy exactly what he deserves.

A cage that means freedom.

In Master Key by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox, Marquis offers Navin the key to the most intimate of locks, hoping it will help them to prioritize their relationship. And it does—until work and insecurities threaten to drive them apart again.

A spool of rope and a desire to be bound.

In CTRL Me by Anna Zabo, a night out between friends turns hot and tempting when Gabe deliberately pushes Tom’s submissive buttons. Then Tom discovers rope in Gabe’s glove-box—and not the type for securing luggage.

Title: Rules to Live By
Author: Anah Crow, and Cari Z., Anna Zabo, Dianne Fox, Heidi Belleau, Lisa Henry
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Takeover, Just Business, Wallflower, Bliss, The Burnt Toast B&B, Apple Polisher, When All the World Sleeps, Mark Cooper versus America, Sweetwater
Published by Riptide Publishing
Source: Publisher
Published: February 16, 2015
Genres: Erotic Romance, M/M Erotica, Male Male Romance
Pages: 250
See the title at Goodreads
Stars: four-stars
Flames: four-flames

In my humble opinion, this is a must read for fans of kinky m/m romance.  *fanning self*  It covers different kinks in each story with a different couple.  I loved all of the stories, even the ones that made me a bit uncomfortable.  They were all well written and, for the shorter novella, very complete.  These authors did a very good job of pulling together a nice collection of bed time stories.

MASTER KEY by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox – new to me authors, one of the wonderful things about anthologies like this.  This story was mostly about part time power exchange with a few toys.  This is also the longest story in the collection.

One of the featured couple is of Indian (like from India) descent.  He, with his two brothers and mother run, what I think is, some kind of software company.  I mention this because one of the things that made me uncomfortable was found in this story and it wasn’t the kink between the couple.  It was the fact that the adult males called their mother “mummy.”  Maybe a culture thing, I don’t know, but it kind of creeped me out considering we were in a corporate setting.

As for the romance, I thought that was well done.  Both Navin and Marquis did some growing up, learning about themselves as well as each other, and how to communicate.  It was a very nice progression, with one point leaving me wonder if they would really find their happy ever after.  Thankfully, they did.

HO– USE RULES by Cari Z – Also a new to me author.   Featured kink was 24/7 power exchange with punishment.

This was a rather intense look at one couple’s solution to addiction, as well as metal and physical illness.  It was quite well done, bringing me into the mindset of the bratty sub.  I don’t know that I would have been near as agreeable as Jonathan was to a list of rules.  But, it worked quite well for this couple.

THE HARDER THEY FALL by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau – Authors I have read before and the reason I wanted to read this.  What surprised me was the kink they presented hit my “uncomfortable” meter.  Daddy play hits a soft limit for me, but the power exchange and disciple was hot.  An interesting dichotomy.

I did enjoy how “Daddy” took Tad from the spoiled little rich boy to well behaved young man.  Well done!

CTRL ME by Anna Zabo – another new to me author, but I think this one was my favorite story.  The kink in this one was rope play.  HOT!

Tom, who is bi, has just broken up with his girlfriend when his co-worker, Gabe, (“No, I prefer Gabe. Gabriel has too many syllables.”) asks Tom out for after work drinks to commiserate.  OMG!  The sparks started flying from the minute they got into the car.  Needed a shower after I finished this one.

I read this book in one go.  I found it that gripping and entertaining.  However, it would make a very nice collection of bed time stories, with one story being read each night.  These stories would definitely leave you having happy dreams.  *sigh* Either way, this is a keeper.

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